Changing economic and social trends continued to affect the Winter Gardens throughout latter decades of the 20th Century and into the new Millennium. An undoubted highlight for the venue in recent years was the second hosting of The Royal Variety Performance in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in December 2009 with a cast including Bette Midler, Whoopi Goldeberg, Michael Buble and Peter Kay.
In March 2010 Blackpool Council purchased the Winter Gardens. Funding for the purchases and investment was secured from Blackpool Council, European Regional Development Fund, Homes and Communities Agency and Northwest Regional Development Agency. Following the acquisition the Winter Gardens is undergoing a major programme of refurbishment projects that has already seen extensive work to the entrances, Dome and Floral Hall, and the opening of 2 new dining options. Further projects are continuing into 2011 including the re-glazing of the Floral Hall.
The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is making a real difference to people and businesses in the Northwest. With €755 million to invest between 2007 and 2013, ERDF is enhancing the competitiveness of the region’s economy by supporting growth in enterprise and employment. ERDF in the Northwest is managed by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA). For further information please visit www.erdfnw.co.uk
After more than 130 years in private ownership Blackpool Council purchased the Winter Gardens in March 2010. Funding for the purchases and investment was secured from European Regional Development Fund, Homes and Communities Agency, Northwest Regional Development Agency and Blackpool Council. Following acquisition the Winter Gardens has undergone some major refurbishment including extensive work to the entrances, Dome and Floral Hall, and the opening of the two new dining options – The Mazzei Café and The Empress Grill Room. More projects are in discussion. The Winter Gardens is operated on behalf of Blackpool Council by Crown Entertainment Centres Ltd.